Collection Management Policy
The St. Charles City-County Library strives to build and maintain a collection of user-focused materials to meet the wide variety of needs and interests of all residents in the community. The Library and its Board of Trustees uphold the democratic right of all Americans to freely express their opinions and support the right of each individual to privately read, listen, and view the full range of published thoughts and ideas.
In support of these ideals, the St. Charles City-County Library offers a diverse and inclusive collection of materials protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Library Board endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement, Freedom to View, and all interpretations applicable to the selection and use of library materials.
The Library District is committed to providing materials to residents and taxpayers of all ages, backgrounds, and opinions. The District’s collection, taken as a whole, will be unbiased and diverse representing as many viewpoints as possible. Subjects will be covered in sufficient depth and breadth and in various formats to meet anticipated and expressed community needs.
No material will be excluded because of the race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political or social views of the creator. Purchase of material by the library does not mean endorsement of the contents or the views expressed in said materials.
The District recognizes that budgets are not unlimited. Selection of material must be consistent with District budget allocations. Resource sharing, electronic resources, and other methods of access are valid and necessary ways of meeting customer needs.
The ultimate responsibility of the collection rests with the Library District Director under the authority of the Library Board of Trustees. Direct selection of materials is delegated to staff members qualified for the duty by education, training, interest, and job classification. Selectors judge impartially and evaluate critically. Selection is made by use of authoritative reviews, knowledge of the reputation, and the viability of the creator, and selection aids such as but not limited to: bibliographical publication, publisher’s advertising, and requests of library customers.
Materials are selected according to the needs and demands of the community. Factors considered include:
- Collection philosophy
- Collection composition
- Popular demand, both existing and anticipated
- Public interest
- Enduring value
- Community relevance
- Diversity of viewpoint
The Library Board of Trustees recognizes the right of individuals to question the inclusion of materials in the library collection. The District will give serious consideration to each customer’s opinion.
Customers wishing to challenge the inclusion of specific material may do so by filling out a D032.4 form to be reviewed by appropriate staff. Staff will review and discuss the request along with the item in question and a letter with the decision will be sent to the customer via the postal service.
Purchase suggestions are accepted by any and all customers via the online form on the Library's website. Each suggestion will be weighed against the selection criteria set forth in this policy.
Donations are accepted at each branch. Items donated may be added to the District’s collection with consideration given to the selection criteria set forth in this policy. Items not added will be given to the Friends of the Library to be sold at Book Fairs. All items donated become the property of the Library District at the time of donation. Receipts for tax purposes are available upon request. Determined value of donated material for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor.
Self-published/self-produced materials are subject to the same selection standards as other materials. The District does not accept unsolicited donations of self-published/self-produced material to be added to the collection. Nor does it accept unsolicited preview/review materials from any source. When the District receives these unsolicited materials, the District considers these donations.
Withdrawal of Materials
The Board of Trustees recognizes that withdrawing materials from the collection is an important part of maintaining the library collection. Ultimate responsibility for withdrawal of material lies with the Library Director who may authorize qualified staff to assist. The District shall withdraw material based on the same factors as the selection policy. The District does not sanction removal of library material based upon any controversy.
The Library and its Board of Trustees consider reading, listening, and viewing to be individual, private matters. Full, confidential, and unrestricted access to information is essential for customers to exercise their constitutional rights. Libraries have a public and professional obligation to provide equal access to all library resources for all library users. While anyone is free to select or reject materials for themselves or for those that are legally under their care, it is important for library users to understand that the Library does not stand in place of the parents (in loco parentis) when it comes to access to library materials.
The Library collection is organized and maintained to help people find the materials they are looking for. Any labeling, seclusion, or alteration of materials because of controversy surrounding the creator or subject matter will not be sanctioned, in standing with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights.
This Collection Management Policy will be periodically reviewed by the Library Board to be revised or reaffirmed as needed.